I just took a crack at developing a plugin widget for Wordpress. Its a pretty amazing platform. Getting a basic foundation in place was a breeze. I've never felt like such an end user before. I didn't have to build any low level classes. Need to save some user options? Call a function. Need to access the database? Use the provided Wordpress database object. It even builds your database tables for you and manages updates to the structure from one version to the next. Wow!
I know I'm not an end user programming a plugin, but it sure does feel like it compared to developing a site from scratch. I can only imagine how empowering this is to true end users that don't know anything about web development. There's just so much out of the box.
Details for the plugin are on my Social Links Plugin page. Try it out.